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From Forced Migration to Nelson Mandela: The Civil Rights Movement and Global Human Rights

Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

This course is currently not being offered in the academic year 2015 - 2016.

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This course surveys the history of a turbulent 500-year period. Social reforms and struggles have brought about profound changes in the way in which society today operates. The module considers the rise of colonialism, imperialism, racial segregation and the apartheid system, and looks at key themes and developments, such as the forced migration of the 1600s to 1800s, 19th century abolition and emancipation, the struggle for Black Civil Rights in the USA and ideas of Black Nationalism in Mandela’s South Africa.

Syllabus content

1. Forced Migration: Africans & New World Slavery (1600-1807)

Triangular trade, Middle Passage, Modes of subjection, Treatment

2. Toussaint L’Ouverture

Black resistance fighter Slave revolts in Haiti and the Caribbean

3. Abolition and Emancipation, 1807-1865

Broad overview of the struggle for abolition and emancipation, culminating in the American Civil War and the Slave Trade Act

4. Frederick Douglass (1818-1895): Black Abolitionist

Overview of Douglass’s life and experiences as a slave and abolitionist in Britain and America

5. Prejudice & Segregation in the USA & UK

The Black Codes and Jim Crow (1865-1955); broad overview of the legal and cultural systematic exclusion of blacks

6. Booker T Washington: Black educator

Overview of Washington’s life and attempts to elevate the black community, and how his relatively moderate stance might be contrasted to more radical figures like Du Bois

7. Black Nationalism: Garvey to Mandela

Explores the ideas of Black Nationalism, the return to Africa and the struggles against colonialist racism

8. The Struggle for Black Civil Rights in the USA, 1955-68

Broad overview of the struggle and its defining moments

9. The Struggle continues with Women Protagonists

Case studies of Harriet Tubman, Ida B Wells, Nanny the Maroon and Winnie Mandela

10. Malcolm X & Martin Luther King

Compare and contrast two key figures of the struggle

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the topic. No previous knowledge is assumed.

Learning and Teaching

There will be a mixture of short lectures, small group teaching and discussion, the precise proportion to be determined by the needs of the students enrolled. Also we will discuss examples and case-studies. This will encourage the development of knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts discussed in the course. Intellectual skills will be encouraged through participation in class discussion, reading and coursework.

Coursework and Assessment

Essays or other equivalent written assignments to a total of 1500 words demonstrating an understanding of core elements of the course material. At the tutor’s discretion, part of the assessment may be by a presentation. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Key texts

Recommended texts


Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on

(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.